author

 
 
 Masami Ito

Meta

Masami Ito
Masami is a staff writer for the Life and Culture Division at The Japan Times. She is in charge of the weekly Sunday Timeout, covering various issues related to Japan, from alcohol/drug addiction and juvenile crime to female sushi chefs and kendama. Over her 15-year career, she has written extensively on Japanese politics, foreign policy and social issues.
JAPAN
Feb 3, 2007
Extra budget shoved through Lower House
The ruling bloc -- the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito -- rammed a supplementary budget through the Lower House on Friday after the opposition camp boycotted deliberations in protest of health minister Hakuo Yanagisawa.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Feb 2, 2007
DPJ, allies boycott over Yanagisawa
Opposition parties boycotted the Thursday opening session of the House of Representative's powerful Budget Committee, saying they will not participate in Diet deliberations until health minister Hakuo Yanagisawa steps down for calling women "child-bearing machines."
JAPAN
Feb 2, 2007
LDP launches lineup of Abe goods to boost sagging support
How about drinking coffee from a mug with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's face on it? Or making a cell phone call with Abe dangling from a chain? Or Abe-embossed clear folders, pens and memo pads?
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jan 31, 2007
Lawmakers' posh digs on cheap criticized
Starting April 1, House of Representatives members will be able to take up residence in three-bedroom luxury apartments in a new, 28-story complex in the upscale Akasaka district in the heart of Tokyo, a 10-minute walk from the Diet.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jan 30, 2007
Yanagisawa sexist remark draws Abe ire
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe issued a warning Monday to health minister Hakuo Yanagisawa about his "inappropriate remark" comparing women to "child-bearing machines," while female lawmakers in the opposition camp urged him to step down over the statement.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jan 30, 2007
Ozawa challenges Abe on office outlays
Lawmakers in key positions should disclose details of their office expenses to regain public trust, Democratic Party of Japan leader Ichiro Ozawa said Monday in a challenge to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
JAPAN
Jan 27, 2007
Tsunoda exits No. 2 Upper House post over funds scandal
," Tsunoda said. "But there were indications and criticism that (I) did not fulfill my duties of accountability." However, Kyodo News reported earlier in the day that a combined 23 individuals, firms and organizations have said they made political donations to Tsunoda's campaign office during the 2001...
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jan 24, 2007
Upper House's No. 2 denies fund allegations
House of Councilors Vice President Giichi Tsunoda on Tuesday fended off allegations his campaign headquarters received 25.2 million yen in political donations in 2001 that went unreported.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jan 18, 2007
LDP conventioneers sing praise for Abe, visits to Yasukuni
The air was music-filled and festive Wednesday as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took the stage to kick off the Liberal Democratic Party's annual convention to finish off the banner "Utsukushii Kuni Nippon" ("Japan, a Beautiful Country").
JAPAN
Jan 5, 2007
Abe pushes his wish list, hopes to take boar by the tusks
intention to create a new Constitution for a new era." Collective defense, an activity prohibited under the government's interpretation of the Constitution, is also an issue that needs to be studied further, he added.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jan 4, 2007
Foes of female reign bask in prince's birth
"It's a boy!" The news spread like wildfire on red-letter Sept. 6 with the birth of Prince Hisahito, the first male born into the Imperial family in 41 years.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Dec 28, 2006
Reform minister Sata exits over fund snafu
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's three-month-old Cabinet suffered another setback Wednesday as administrative reform minister Genichiro Sata resigned after admitting accounting irregularities by one of his political support organizations.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Dec 20, 2006
Abe's honeymoon Diet session ends with whimper
The first extraordinary Diet session on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's watch ended Tuesday without fanfare, having finished business last week by passing his legislation to revise the education law and to turn the Defense Agency into a ministry.
JAPAN
Dec 16, 2006
Education, defense bills passed
and his Cabinet bow after the Lower House plenary session voted down an opposition-proposed no-confidence motion against them Friday. KYODO PHOTO
Japan Times
JAPAN
Dec 5, 2006
LDP reform foes' return slammed as betrayal
In August 2005, 37 Liberal Democratic Party members held their heads high as they voted against LDP President and Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's bills to privatize the postal system, legislation they felt was being forced on them.
JAPAN
Dec 5, 2006
LDP allows postal rebels back in fold
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Monday officially readmitted 11 of the lawmakers kicked out of the party last year for opposing postal privatization, its key reform.
JAPAN
Dec 5, 2006
LDP allows postal rebels back in fold
rejoining the party," Abe told reporters afterward. He said he would seek the public's understanding by achieving his policy goals with the help of the rebels.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Nov 29, 2006
11 postal reform foes get nod to rejoin LDP and justify flip-flop
The 11 postal reform rebels Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is welcoming back into the ruling Liberal Democratic Party spoke Tuesday about why they voted against the legislation and then reversed themselves.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Nov 28, 2006
Postal rebels vow to follow party line for LDP return
Eleven of a group of 12 lawmakers kicked out of the Liberal Democratic Party last year for opposing postal privatization submitted a petition and special covenant Monday and are likely to be readmitted to the ruling party.
JAPAN
Nov 17, 2006
Abe education bill clears Lower House
The House of Representatives passed the controversial bill to revise the 1947 education law Thursday amid an opposition camp boycott.

Longform

Tokashiki Beach acts as a sanctuary for sea turtles and offers ideal snorkeling waters. It was also the site of the U.S. Army’s preliminary invasion that led to the 1945 Battle of Okinawa, which resulted in the deaths of nearly 150,000 people.
On Okinawa's Tokashiki Island, life's a beach — one of the best in the world